You’ve got your very first hackathon ticket - congratulations! Are you excited? Nervous? Feeling the prickles of imposter syndrome on the back of your neck? It’s very common to feel apprehensive before your first hackathon, and we get lots of questions from first-timers in the runup to Hack24.
So we asked people on twitter what advice they would have liked before their first hackathon and here are some of our faves.
Relax and have fun
Winning is secondary, learning and enjoying yourself is the most important part— toby (@monotron_) February 10, 2018
This is an excellent piece of advice - at Hack24 we firmly believe that having fun and enjoying yourself is one of the best reasons to attend a hackathon. The event wouldn’t happen without our awesome sponsors who also put forward fantastic challenges and prizes, and whilst it is a competition, it’s very lighthearted and winning shouldn’t be the sole reason for attending.
Every year we plan lots of entertainment for the Saturday evening - it’s a whole lot of fun with prizes to be won. We encourage you to take part and have a break from your screen!
Think ahead and keep it simple
Take some time to think of an idea which is scalahle, define what minimal working version is and go for that. Also it only has to work for 2 minutes— Pedro Mendonca (@pedsm) February 10, 2018
Great advice here from the president of HackSoc at the University of Nottingham. Remember - you’ve only got 24 hours, so make them count. We release the challenges in advance of Hack24, so you’ve got plenty of time to come up with an idea and do some planning (but no coding!).
And a working but shonky hack is better than a not working but perfectly coded hack.
For clothing I advise layers: t-shirt, shirt, hoodie/sweater. Your response to temperature will change over the event. Also MVP in my bag last year was a change of t-shirt/socks/underwear for the start of the second day. Made me feel less gross.— Will Ellwood (@fragmad) February 10, 2018
Good practical advice - the Ballroom in the Council House is heated throughout the weekend, including overnight, but the temperature can fluctuate so it’s best to come prepared in terms of clothing. We put plenty of toiletries and sanitary products in the toilets for hackers to use, but do feel free to bring your own, especially if you’re sensitive to certain product ingredients.
A popular piece of advice. We provide all your food and drinks at Hack24, including fresh water all weekend as well as juices, tea, coffee and hot chocolate, but you’re very welcome to bring drinks (no alcohol) and snacks of your own. Staying hydrated will keep you alert and headache free!
Take a break
Taking breaks is important. There is a relaxation lounge at Hack24 complete with board games and video-games with plenty of comfy sofas and blankets if you need some down time. You can find a quiet space in the venue or head outside for some fresh air. Either way is a good way to clear your head so you’re able to come back to your project with fresh eyes and renewed energy.